Georgia to Drop Outdoor Mask Mandate
Georgia will drop its outdoor mask mandate starting March 28, the Inter-Agency Coordination Council responsible for fighting back the pandemic decided today.
Wearing a face mask will remain obligatory in public transportation and indoor spaces, member of the Council, Giorgi Gibradze said in a press briefing.
Gibradze also announced that restaurants, cafés, arts, entertainment and sports venues will be allowed to operate at full capacity.
Meanwhile, Georgian nationals arriving in the country without presenting a negative PCR test result will no longer be required to self-isolate, according to the official.
He added that Georgia will continue its vaccine incentive program through April, paying citizens over fifty years GEL 200 (USD 62) for their first jab and GEL 100 (USD 31) for receiving a booster dose.
“The pandemic is nearing its end,” Health Minister Zurab Azarashvili said, commenting on the Council’s decision.
“Hospitalization [rate] is significantly decreased… there are less than 800 people undergoing treatment at a hospital,” he noted, adding “mortality rate has also significantly declined.”
The Minister added that this week Georgia will receive the first batch of Paxlovid, Pfizer’s antiviral medicine for treating COVID-19.
Minister Azarashvili said Georgia would receive the drug gradually but stressed he could not disclose the exact amount ordered due to contractual terms.
In the briefing, Chief of the National Center for Disease Control Amiran Gamkrelidze asserted that spread of the virus has “stabilized” in Georgia.
He said that 14-day positivity has fallen below 5% and the reproduction number stood at 0.47 on March 22, while the number of fatalities recorded were the lowest since summer of 2021.
As of March 22, Georgia, excluding the occupied regions, has confirmed 1,643,295 cases of COVID. 1,601,578 patients have recovered and 16,678 have died.
The authorities today reported 1,053 new cases, 2,067 recoveries and 7 COVID-related fatalities. To date, there are 25,013 active cases of infection.
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